Curious George Visits Story Time
by Lynne Ober
There’s always something fun going on at Pelham Elementary School. On Saturday night it was Story Time Fun Night. The event was a dream of a couple of mothers, supported by staff and administration and funded by the PTA, who also provided many of the chaperones.
Kids started arriving at 4:30 p.m. dressed in their pajamas and slippers and carrying their favorite blankets, pillows or sleeping bags. Chaperones and staff were already there and many of them were also dressed in pajamas, robes, and slippers.
Once students were checked in, given a name tag and waved goodbye to their parents, they converged on the caf, which was quickly filled with happy chatter and excited little voices. Volunteers served pizza, juice boxes and, finally, cupcakes.
“We have a bigger turn out this year,” said Jen McFee, Co-President of the PTA, with a smile. “We have 75 parent volunteers. Some are watching the doors to ensure no one goes in or out, some are checking in and the rest are working with the kids.”
After eating, everyone gathered in the gym. Blankets and sleeping bags were spread out and although it took a few minutes to get friends organized so that they were sitting with friends, it was soon time for a story.
The guest for the evening was Curious George, an inquisitive monkey who has captured the hearts and giggles of children. Curious George is always getting into and out of scrapes. Perhaps part of his popularity lies in the fact that he can do what children can’t. He can paint a whole room or climb a tree or hang from a kite in the sky.
The gym grew quiet as children listened intently to the story of the little monkey who just can’t keep out of mischief.
Following the story, the lights were dimmed; many stretched out on their blankets and everyone got to watch the Curious George movie. After the movie, tunes from the Curious George soundtrack softly filled the gym. By the time that parents arrived a few were snoozing, but everyone agreed that they wanted to do this again.
Fashion’s Most Wanted
by Lynne Ober
Every year Pelham High School students create, produce, and star in a fashion show. This year’s “Fashion’s Most Wanted” was divided into six distinct segments that reflected many different styles and interests.
The students in both A and B block fashion classes worked on the show. The students were divided into groups, with each responsible for creating a unique segment. They had to choose fashions that would be modeled, choose the music used by the themed segment, develop a lead-off skit, and develop their segment. They also worked on advertising the event and creating the decorations and back drop that adorned the runway. They even managed to keep it all a secret so that the latest trends and fashions would be fresh on show night.
When the show began, adrenaline ran very high. The models were the hit of the runway. The audience was cheering and the beat of the music enticing, but that left a bit of chaos behind the scenes.
“I can’t find my jacket and I need to be on stage now,” yelped one male participant as he rushed around.
“Go. Get on stage,” chorused unsympathetic male voices.
But in the girls’ dressing area, things were not entirely smooth either. Models were struggling to make lightning fast changes and get onto the runway looking like a million dollars.
The show opened with casual fashions suitable for a walk downtown. The next segment, Dress Like a Champion, was for sportswear. From there they moved into the business world. One of the favorite segments was the prom wear segment, but “Before Dreams Fade In” got a lot of applause as the models showed off the latest in pajamas. The evening ended with a night life segment called “We’re Here for the Party.”
Money raised from the ticket admission and from the raffles will help offset the fashion class trip to New York City to view styles, sights and Christmas lights.
Problems Found with Windham Fire Equipment
by Barbara Jester
As the result of mandated annual testing, it has been learned that there are deficiencies in the cables used to raise and lower aerial fire truck ladders.
Fire Chief Tom McPherson told selectmen the latest news regarding deteriorating firefighting equipment during the Monday, November 13 board meeting.
McPherson said the testing, done last April, resulted in all ground ladders getting a passing grade, but certain problems being found with ladders on the aerial fire truck.
“It’s okay to use the ladders now,” McPherson said, “but next year they will probably wind up being put out of service” if not repaired prior to the next inspection.
Mechanics at the Windham Fire Department have spent several months repairing some of the problems plaguing the aerial ladders, but one issue still remains, according to the fire chief, and that is the replacement of three main cables. New cables will need to be produced, tested, and certified prior to being installed.
McPherson told selectmen he wants to get the problem taken care of now. He estimates that the cost of the new cables will be approximately $8,400. “The overall (2006) fire department budget is in good shape,” he said.
Selectmen voted unanimously (5 - 0) to permit McPherson to go out to bid for the parts and labor needed to replace the three main aerial cables and, depending on the bid quotes received, get the work done before the end of this year.
Engine #3 also continues to show signs of continued deterioration. The latest issue is in regard to the pumping capability of the aging fire truck.
McPherson reported that annual pumping tests were conducted on all equipment on Friday, November 10. “All the equipment passed, with the exception of Engine #3,” he told selectmen.
McPherson informed selectmen last month that Engine #3 would need about $60,000 in repairs to remain in service; an expense the fire chief said he does not feel would be well-spent. McPherson said he feels it would be financially more prudent to retire Engine #3 and replace it with a new model. Engine #3 is not scheduled to be replaced until 2011, according to Windham’s Capital Improvement Plan. McPherson would like to see that purchase moved up to 2007.
In addition to the $60,000 in proposed renovations previously reported by McPherson, it would cost another $6,000 to remedy the pumping problems. “The existing pump on Engine #3 has seen a lot of use,” McPherson said. “It is not pumping to capacity.”
Selectmen are still considering options whether to replace or recondition the 14-year-old engine; equipment which McPherson said is “rotting away from the inside out.”
Additional ‘Operation Whiteout’ Charges Filed
The Pelham Police Department announced that additional charges have been added in regard to one of the suspects arrested in last week’s “Operation Whiteout.”
“We made a drug buy for $750, and that’s a lot of money for our department,” said Captain Joe Roark. “We followed him and stopped him immediately and couldn’t find our money. We wanted it back.”
Gonzalez tried to tell officers that he had thrown it out when he knew he was being followed by police. Since the money had been in tens and twenties the officers knew that they would have seen it fluttering in the air.
“We knew there had to be a hidden stash in the car because the money just wouldn’t disappear so we asked for a search warrant,” said Roark.
A search warrant was issued in order to search the motor vehicle being operated by suspect Alejandro Gonzalez, 25, of Methuen, Massachusetts. The vehicle was searched on November 9 with the assistance of the Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Police Department’s narcotic detection K-9 Andy and his handler, Officer Dave Leo. The K-9 “indicated” on the center console area of the vehicle and consequently a hydraulically operated secret “hide” was discovered below the floorboard of the vehicle under the emergency brake center console. The “hide” was operated through electric switching and was undetectable through normal search procedures. Inside the hide a significant quantity of narcotics, including crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and heroin, was located as well as $845 in cash. It is the investigating officer’s opinion that the “hide” had been professionally installed with the specific purpose to illegally transport narcotics.
“The ‘hide’ could be opened by the right combination of existing equipment,” said Roark, “such as operating the hazard lights and pressing a certain radio button or turning on the right turn signal. Obviously if there is a switch, police would push it so it has to be operated through a combination of existing electronically devices.”
As a result of the search, Alejandro Gonzalez will be charged with the following offenses in addition to his original arrest charges: Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Transportation of Cocaine and Transportation of Heroin.
This investigation continues.